The Doubling in-Absence by Paolo Ferrari

(Dematerializing) Installation-Doubling in-Absence
Valenza, 1998-2003


The installation of in-Absence panels - which, expressly carried out for a project of de-materializing doubling at the new factory "San Marco Laterizi" in Valenza Po, have been developed digitally (by a new form of art known as plotter-painting) - and of a-formal acrylic paintings on canvas, which were modified on this occasion, - all works by Paolo Ferrari, scientist and artist   -is intended to test the relationship between visual art and working environment in terms that do not fall within an "artistic" marriage, which in any case would be unusual and sporadic, to the factory.

The target is neither a cultural and aesthetic operation to have a place in which one has to spend several hours a day in his life (to reproduce it materially), made pleasant and livable through art, nor a work of art which is to be introduced in an unusual background, almost as if it needed it to define itself, as if ashamed of itself, of its capability for abstraction.

Art becomes here, more than ever in history, thinking in relation. The installation is one of the possible, perhaps the most up-to-date expressions of the new thinking named Absence a-System, which (new, yet inclusive of any present or past cultural contribution), in the filogenesis of the species Homo sapiens is the stage of the (a-)mental activity, object for over twenty years, of our study about the different planes of (scientific and philosophical) thinking, of experimental novel writing, of poetry, of music, of painting, of drama. The original from which the process of digital printing starts, and to a certain extent also the canvasses, which historically preceded the plotter-painting panels, is made of a repeated elaboration of photographs, drawings, paintings, photocopies of these and photocopies of photocopies to obtain an autoorganizing stratification (very rich in information even at a considerable enlargement, which in fact highlights these stratifications) capable of generating, of letting the other - which is already inscribed in the origin - show through and of creating an empty image. It is not possible to ask what it represents, or what it is, or what it makes you think of: Where thing is taken away, Homo abstractus begins.

Even if suitably organized, the space of the factory tends, more than other spaces, to occupy the mind of those working in it to whom it may appear as a place of repetition, day after day, whereas life seems to go by somewhere else, differently. The extinction of known spatiality towards an abstract space fit for inducing a (a-)mental liberty, so as to disengage a person from a productive reiteration (which pertains to the machine and not to the person, where it becomes a compulsion) is one of the targets of the in-Absence installation.

It is assumed that a comprehensive and complex work like the installation, a coupling with pre-existent surrounding elements within difference, a system of panels and canvasses which do not draw or paint things, those things that already choke the place with their excessive presence, is able - as it suggests a complex body-mind-and-object interaction - to offer, be it just for a moment from time to time, a de-materializing container for the most abstract part of the mind. Besides, it produces a state of being which is empty of physical and mental things, detached from them, so as to make possible an affectivity no longer encumbered by the uncounscious level and thus ready to perfect new active and ultrapsychological (a-psychic, not recognized by the psyche as usually conceived) capabilities. Generating that zero degree of reality, which is the foundation of knowledge and life itself, and which, for the time being, is not consciously perceived by Homo sapiens' sensorial and mental systems, also means preparing oneself for doing, inducing in-action, that abstracted and potentiated form of action that Homo has in pectore.

Till now, the factory has been considered a place which has nothing to do with affective life; the abstract space created through the installation opens to an affectivity free from any emotional or sentimental aspect, therefore deeper and, being well disposed towards the challenge of accepting a new world without things, much more free and free to be rational. For example, some panels bearing warnings about safety in the workplace, as they deliver their message on an abstract level which disregards the peremptory or uselessly threatening tone of "normal" accident-prevention signs, generate a state of vigilance in those working there which is active and effective because it is affective. The installation makes it possible to detect one out of many reading and experiencing directions, any of them capable of making the access to the new stage of the species easier.

Anybody accepting the invitation to undo the unnecessary tie between vision and things, to relate thinking and doing in a different way, will see the known environment, where things are manufactured, transformed, as if it had not been known in actual fact. The bewilderment, in its actual and broad sense, will give rise to a new space and to a new person. Time itself will undergo a rotation, as it abstracts from its chronological course, which is too similar and close to the constraint of a still animal reproducing pulsion (in probable but not necessary agreement with the productive target of the factory). In that very moment in which time becomes extinct, a seed will be sown that, if allowed to die off completely, will produce much fruit.



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